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Diagnosing & Treating Movement Disorders in Northern California

Movement disorders lead to unwanted or uncontrollable body movements. They can be caused by problems with your muscles or nervous system — including nerves, spinal cord, and brain.

Dignity Health North State neurologists are experts in treating clinically complex, long-term neurological conditions, including movement disorders. Find a Doctor at one of our Northern California locations to schedule a consultation.


Common Movement Disorder Symptoms Treated at Dignity Health North State

Symptoms of movement disorders depend on the specific condition. For example, multiple sclerosis symptoms include balance problems, while Parkinson’s disease symptoms include hand tremors.

Common symptoms of movement disorders include:

  • Episodes of uncontrolled movements
  • Problems with physical coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Trouble walking
  • Muscle spasms or twitching


What Causes Movement Disorders?

The cause of movement disorders also depends on the condition. Doctors don’t always know what causes movement disorders, but sometimes they can be traced back to nervous system injury, use of certain medications, infections, genetics, and autoimmune diseases.

Here’s what doctors know about several of the most common movement disorders:

  • Huntington’s disease is due to a gene mutation that’s inherited from a parent.
  • Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal development in areas of the brain responsible for balance and coordination. The exact cause of the abnormalities is not known, but risk factors include premature birth, injury to the fetus during labor or pregnancy, lack of oxygen to the fetus, or maternal infection passed to the fetus. Mutations in genes associated with brain development could also play a role.
  • Dystonia is due to abnormal function of or damage to areas of the brain that control muscle movement. Risk factors include stroke, infections, injury during birth, brain trauma, and poisoning. Some cases of dystonia are inherited and caused by defective genes.
  • Multiple sclerosis is caused by the breakdown of the protective covering of nerves. This prevents nerve cells from rapidly communicating throughout the body as they normally would. Doctors think multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder that can be triggered by a viral infection.
  • Epilepsy is the name for a variety of conditions that cause seizures. Injury, tumors, abnormal genes, and infections that affect nerve cell function and brain development can cause epilepsy. Some forms of epilepsy can also be inherited. About half of the time, the cause of epilepsy is not known.
  • Parkinson’s disease is due to the death of dopamine-producing nerve cells and other changes in the brain. Doctors think it’s caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. A small percentage of cases are passed down from parents to children.

The effects of movement disorders can be devastating, but new treatment options are being actively developed and tested by doctors. Talk to a Dignity Health North State expert to learn more about the latest advances in treatment. 

Dignity Health North State provides diagnosis and treatment for a variety of movement disorders in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.

Diagnosing & Treating Movement Disorders in Northern California